Buckingham Palace Breaks Silence After Prince Harry & Meghan Interview

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex
Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex (photo: Joe Pugliese/Harpo Productions)

After a compelling interview by Meghan Markle and Prince Harry with Oprah Winfrey, Buckingham Palace has finally broken its silence after two days.

From the New York Times:

Buckingham Palace broke nearly 48 hours of silence Tuesday about a bombshell interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, saying “the whole royal family is saddened” and expressing concern about the issue of racism the couple had raised.

Assertions that a member of the royal family had raised concerns about the skin color of the couple’s son, Archie, and that a desperate Meghan had contemplated suicide dominated national discussion in Britain, where the interview with Oprah Winfrey was broadcast Monday evening.

On Tuesday, Piers Morgan, the co-host of “Good Morning Britain” on ITV news, who came under attack for saying he “didn’t believe a word” of the interview, resigned, the network said. Britain’s communications regulator received more than 41,000 complaints about his comment, it said.

Read the full article.

Gareth Thomas & Prince Harry Will Team Up To Combat HIV Stigma

After coming out as HIV-positive this weekend via a video message on Twitter, rugby legend Gareth Thomas has received an outpouring of support from not only fans but the royal family.

In the video, Thomas shared that had been diagnosed with HIV some years ago but was coming out now after an unnamed tabloid threatened to ‘blackmail’ him about his status.

The 45-year-old athlete feared “people would treat me like a leper because of a lack of knowledge,” he told the Sunday Mirror. The rugby icon said by coming out as HIV-positive, he hopes to educate others and break the stigma associated with being positive.

He’s already received encouragement from both Princes Harry and William, who shared their support via social media.

On the Instagram account for SussexRoyal, Prince Harry shared Thomas’ HIV message and praised the athlete for his strength, resiliency, and courage.

“Gareth, you are an absolute legend!,” read the post which was signed ‘H’ for Harry. “In sharing your story of being HIV+, you are saving lives and shattering stigma, by showing you can be strong and resilient while living with HIV. We should all be appalled by the way you were forced to speak your truth, it is yours and yours alone to share on your terms and I and millions stand with you.”

Prince William responded on the KensingtonRoyal Instagram account with the message, “Courageous as ever – legend on the pitch and legend off it. You have our support Gareth.” The missive was signed ‘W’ for Prince William.

The former Celebrity Big Brother star has now announced that he will collaborate with Prince Harry to address the stigma associated with HIV.

“Like me, Prince Harry wants to break the stigma around HIV and he has already done a lot of great work,” Thomas told the Sunday Mirror. “We are planning to work together now.”

He added, “To do something with him will be really powerful.”

Prince Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, was a trailblazer during the early days of the HIV epidemic promoting awareness on the condition. She was credited with changing people’s attitudes about the disease when she was photographed shaking hands with a patient during a visit to the UK’s first AIDS clinic.

“Quite often I look at that photo of Diana at the clinic next to those frail-looking men and then I look at a photo of myself out on my bike and it motivates me because I can see how things have changed and advanced,” Thomas told the Mirror.

He added, “It also makes me realise how lucky I am because I see what it was like for them and I know 30 years ago that could have been me.”

Thomas also shared he’s received calls from other UK luminaries like Elton John.

The rugby star said he had to pull off the road when he got the call from the music legend.

“He said, ‘What you are doing is a brilliant thing,’” said Thomas. “It’s really brave of you. I’ll support you all the way.”

Others expressing their support include actress Samantha Womack and Andy Bell, lead singer of Erasure.

Demonstrating the strength of his health (Thomas shared in his message that his viral load is undetectable), the ITV sportscaster followed his coming out by participating in an Iron Man event in Tenby just hours after his announcement.

He finished the grueling athletic event in 12 hours, 18 minutes and 29 seconds, coming in 413th out of 2,039 participants.

(lead images via GarethThomasOfficial and SussexRoyal Instagram accounts)

News Round-Up: June 3, 2019

(image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• InstaHunk The Griffopotamous (above) is feeling fruity and fabulous this gorgeous Monday.

• The valedictorian for the 2019 Sheboygan Lutheran High School senior class says administrators banned him from speaking at commencement because he mentioned being gay in a draft of the speech.

• A federal grand jury charged a pair of Dallas men with conspiracy to commit hate crimes, kidnapping and carjacking. According to the 15-count indictment, suspects used the gay dating app Grindr to create fake profiles and pose as gay men interested in “dates” to lure gay men to an apartment complex in Dallas in order to commit violent crimes against them.

• Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are the first British Royals to ‘proudly’ celebrate Pride Month on social media.

• A Roman Catholic bishop who admitted last year to being “aware of incidents of sexual abuse” in the church but did nothing to stop them, warns Catholics that LGBTQ Pride Month is “harmful for children.”

• A former West Virginia Republican official who called Michelle Obama an “ape in heels” has been sentenced to 10 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to embezzling $18,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), funds that were intended to help flood victims.

• Don’t look now but there are more naked selfies by former Congressman Aaron Schock circulating the inter webs. Whatever you do, don’t click here.

More naked selfies of 'totally-not-gay' Aaron Schock are making their way around the interwebs
This is the most tame photo in the latest raft of Schock selfies

News Round-Up: March 1, 2019

Pietro Boselli (image via Instagram)

Some news items you might have missed:

• If anyone was ever born to wear a white Speedo, it’s Pietro Boselli (above).

• Drag series Canada’s a Drag will return for a second season.

• Mike Pence says he couldn’t be more proud of his wife teaching at an anti-LGBTQ school.

• The mayor of Fairbanks, Alaska, vetoed legislation that would have protected LGBTQ people from discrimination.

• If you wanted to see this year’s ‘Hottest Chorus Boys on Broadway,’ you could click here for a peek.

• Meghan Markle and Prince Harry plan to raise their child in a gender-neutral nursery and environment.

• The Jonas Brothers dropped their first new music in six years at midnight last night – “Sucker.”

The first round of Jonas fame was a bit too young/teeny bopper for me, but now that the guys have grown up (and so well, may I add?) I’m happy to give them a peek.

The good news is the new track is a catchy pop bop that’s easy to listen to, and the video is fun with the guys and their wives/significant others playing house in a huge Edwardian mansion.

They’ve taken some plot points from the recently Oscar-nominated The Favourite, but I’m not getting bogged down in that while Nick, Joe and Kevin offer such ‘easy on the eyes’ candy.

Take a look below.

News Round-Up: November 19, 2018

Some news items you might have missed:

• I’ve been meaning to feature the oh-so-handsome blond man above for some time, but I don’t know who he is. A reader sent his pic and I was quite smitten by the good looks. Anyone know who he is? #woof #BeardCameNice

• Folks have launched a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for a bronze plaque honoring Matthew Shepard at the Washington National Cathedral. The crypt where he lies isn’t open to the public, so folks would like to design and install a plaque in the chapel.

• This Chinese author was sentenced to 10 years in prison for including gay sex scenes in her latest novel.

• Woofy Prince Harry carries on the legacy of his mother, Princess Diana, by raising awareness for HIV. Check out the new PSA as he flips the script on HIV testing saying it’s something to be proud, not embarrassed, about.

• The Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne, Peter Comensoli, says religious schools in Australia should be accepting of gay teachers IF they keep their relationships hidden. He also thinks its better if they and their partners live far away from the school in which they teach.

• A gay councilman in Texas was removed from office after a homophobic political foe leaked his Grindr pics to the public.

• A new study by psychologists at the University of Pennsylvania found that too much Facebook can contribute to depression and loneliness. The study found those who cut back on their social media consumption found their moods improved.

• UK rugby legend Gareth Thomas was the victim of a hate crime by a 16-year-old in his hometown of Cardiff.

“Last night I was a victim in my home city of a hate crime for my sexuality,” Thomas told his Twitter followers. “I want to say thank you to the police, who were involved and allowed me to do restorative justice to the people that did this because I thought they could learn more that way.”

Restorative justice is a system that “that focuses on the rehabilitation of offenders through reconciliation with victims and the community at large.”

It comes as no surprise that a champion of Thomas’ caliber would opt for the teaching experience of restorative justice. The approach is also helpful to those who are assaulted to see their assailant be held accountable.

Watch Thomas’ video below.

This Was Not Your Average Royal Wedding

The new Duke and Duchess of Sussex

And they’re married!

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle wed today in a gorgeous ceremony that brought royal glamour into the 21st century.

In a nod to Markle’s biracial background, the service featured a thoroughly American sermon served up with some gospel singing. This was not your average royal wedding.

And that’s a good thing.

Attending the nuptials were celebrities like Oprah Winfrey, George and Amal Clooney, and tennis star Serena Williams.

Congrats to the happy couple!

Podcast: Drag Queen Ada Vox Makes American Idol’s Top 10; Massachusetts To Get LGBT Curriculum; New Study Says Gay Couples Are Least Likely To Part Ways

In this week’s podcast:

• Ada Vox becomes American Idol‘s first drag queen contestant in the Top 10

• A new study shows surprising results – gay male couples are least likely to part ways

• High school students in Massachusetts will soon have courses that will include LGBTQ history and literature by gay authors

• The Trump administration launches a new attack on transgender people

• Prince Harry and Suits‘ Meghan Merkle reaffirmed their commitment to LGBTQ rights

All that and more in this episode of The Randy Report podcast

Royal Wedding Invitations Get Complicated For Harry, Barack & Donald

Problem: what to do when you want to invite your new bestie to your wedding and leave a jerk out of the whole event?

Doesn’t sound complicated, does it?

But if you happen to be Prince Harry and it’s the Obamas you want to invite to your royal wedding and politics between Donald Trump and the UK are a testy topic…?

Harry and fiancée Meghan Markle find themselves in a bind wanting to invite the Obamas to their big day on May 19, but Trump could throw a temper tantrum if snubbed.

From The Sun:

Britain’s relations with Trump’s White House have sunk to their lowest ebb since his election last year.

The property billionaire does not hide his loathing of Mr. Obama and is expected to be enraged if his predecessor gets the coveted call-up when he won’t.

The young Royal couple’s dislike of the new president is well known.

Meghan made disparaging comments about him on social media during his election campaign last year.

There are deep fears among senior Foreign Office and No10 officials that another perceived national snub will make it impossible for Theresa May to meaningfully engage with Trump.

A senior government source said: “Harry has made it clear he wants the Obamas at the wedding, so it’s causing a lot of nervousness.

“Trump could react very badly if the Obamas get to a Royal wedding before he has had a chance to meet the Queen.”

Prince Harry & Meghan Markle Observe #WorldAIDSDay In First Public Appearance Since Engagement

Prince Harry and new fiance Meghan Markle made their first public appearance today since their engagement was announced by observing World AIDS Day.

Prince Harry has long been involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS just as his mother, Princess Diana, was.

Prince Harry has been to Nottingham many times before and is delighted to be introducing the city to Ms. Markle. pic.twitter.com/wyLn1v0QfQ

— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) December 1, 2017

Prince Harry Accepts Posthumous Award On Behalf Of Princess Diana For Her Work During The AIDS Crisis

Prince Harry

Earlier this week, Prince Harry became the first royal to accept an award from a gay magazine.

At the Attitude Awards, Harry showed up to accept a posthumous Attitude Legacy Award on behalf of his deceased mother, Princess Diana, Princess of Wales.

Following in his mother’s footsteps, the Prince has actively campaigned on HIV/AIDS issues, while also praising the “amazing” work of a transgender children’s charity.

From Pink News:

Many in the gay community held a special affinity with the Princess, in part due to her work during the AIDS crisis.

During the AIDS crisis Princess Diana made many visits both officially and unofficially – and famously shook hands with a patient at the height of HIV stigma.

The charity named in her honour, The Diana Award, also works to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying.

The Prince has adopted HIV as one of his key campaigning issues, visiting a number of HIV clinics, attending the International AIDS Conference in South Africa, and speaking about his late mother’s work on the issue.

Last year the Prince made headlines by taking a HIV test himself in a Facebook Live video earlier this month, in an appeal for more people to get tested.

The Prince said of his mother: “She started very punchy [on AIDS].

“She smashed the stigma around HIV on more than one occasion. It had a huge impact, and a huge impact on my life as well.”

Prince Harry added: “I don’t consciously channel myself down certain avenues specifically because I think my mum would be proud. But she sure as hell would be proud of me, hopefully, that I’m doing it.”

He explained: “If you’re not going to get tested for yourself and you’re not going to go and get tested for your loved ones that you could possibly infect, then… I don’t know if it’s a selfish thing to say or not, but if you respect what my mother stood for, go and get tested for her.

“It’s 20 years next year since she died, and 30 years ago she was in this hospital [HIV clinic Mildmay] and she did something that no-one else had ever done before.

“If she were still here today, she would probably get tested every month, just to prove a point.”

The annual Attitude Awards are dedicated to honoring those who inspire, advance change, make LGBT lives better, influence and entertain. For the sixth year, funds raised at the event benefited the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Lots of big celebrities turned out for the event including Kylie Minogue, Nyle DiMarco, Laverne Cox, Sam Smith, Tom Daley, Harry Judd, Mel C and many more.

Watch Prince Harry’s acceptance speech at the Attitude Awards below.